Holy kale: Bill Granger's delicious recipes prove being virtuous doesn't mean depriving yourself

Last year's trendiest ingredient doesn't look like going away any time soon, says our chef

The holidays are over and it's time for penance – but it doesn't have to be painful: deprivation is definitely not on the menu. I'm all for eating virtuous food just as long as it's also delicious, and I can't think of an ingredient that fits that brief better than kale.

I was reading an article recently on the most overused food trends of 2013 and second on the list, after Sriracha sauce, came kale. Well, I think it's a trend that still has legs, at least till the end of the current season anyway…

I don't know why it has suddenly become so huge. It all started a few years ago with cavolo nero (aka Tuscan kale) appearing in hearty restaurant soups, then it became impossible to escape a bowl of curly kale chips. Now it's all about shredded kale salads and green juices, LA-style. Call me a fashion-victim, but I can't get enough of it.

Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 75 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, grangerandco.com

Cavolo nero, blood orange, spelt and almond salad

There's nothing fancy about this salad; just beautiful, simple ingredients brought together with care.

Serves 4

200g spelt
200g cavolo nero, stalks removed and chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ orange
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp caster sugar
2 blood oranges, peeled and torn into chunks
65g almonds, sliced

Cook the spelt according to packet instructions and drain. Set aside. Place the chopped cavolo nero in a bowl with the lemon and orange juice, olive oil, salt and sugar. Toss well and set aside for at least 15 minutes.

To serve, tip the warm spelt into the cavolo nero. Add the orange and almonds and toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cavolo nero and courgette soup with chickpeas

This soup ticks all the boxes: warming, flavoursome, wholesome and revitalising.

Cavolo nero and courgette soup with chickpeas (Kristin Perers) Cavolo nero and courgette soup with chickpeas (Kristin Perers)
Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
2 courgettes, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
¼ tsp crushed chillies, plus extra to serve
1 litre good-quality chicken or vegetable stock
300g cavolo nero, stalks removed and shredded
400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Freshly grated Parmesan, to serve

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-low heat. Add the courgettes, garlic, onion and chillies. Season with salt and cover.

Cook for 6 to 8 minutes until tender. Pour in the stock, increase the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Whiz with a hand-held blender until smooth. Bring back to the boil and add the cavolo nero and chickpeas.

Simmer for 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with grated Parmesan, extra crushed chillies and a drizzle of olive oil.

Miso, curly kale and kabocha pumpkin

This makes a great side-dish for teriyaki chicken, or serve it as a main with brown rice or buckwheat noodles.

Miso, curly kale and kabocha pumpkin (Kristin Perers) Miso, curly kale and kabocha pumpkin (Kristin Perers)
Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side dish

600g Kabocha pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp caster sugar
250g curly kale, larger leaves torn
1 tbsp white miso paste
Brown rice or buckwheat noodles, to serve

Put the pumpkin in a large frying pan and add the soy, sugar and 500ml of water.

Bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the kale, cover with a lid and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Stir the miso paste into the broth. Serve with the rice or noodles.

Food stylists: Marina Filippelli and Rosie Reynolds; Prop stylist: Rachel Jukes

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments